Who Writes Job Specifications (Specs)

Carl, In February my wife and I will start building a house.

I need to have a dirt road installed (1000') and the electrical installed underground from a vault also located 1000 feet away.

I am having absolutely no luck finding anything on the web that would give me an idea how to write spec's for both of these projects so that I can get bids?
Could you please point me in the right direction?


Hi Rick,

You don’t have to write the spec’s (specifications) for either project. It all depends on the job involved

Get three bids on each project from professional subcontractors that include specifications written to code by the professional subcontractors you plan to hire and submit the best one for each project (based on best price and references) to the corresponding governing bodies for approval.

Your underground electric will need approval from both the utility (electric) company and your local electrical permitting department.

A vault is an underground storage facility for an electrical transformer. Large electrical transformers are either on a pad.

Your driveway will need to be approved by your building inspection department, which will probably require approval from zoning, driveway permits, the Department of Natural resources (DNR), and anyone else your local building inspection department requires.
They the inspection departments will require a plan (sketch it out on a survey of the property), and the specs from your driveway subcontractor.

I always used an excavating subcontracting company for driveways (for any length) that did not involve paving. Some do both.

They will bring in dirt, gravel, culverts, stone, etc, whatever is needed to do the job right, according to the specifications that they will provide for approval by your building inspection department. Your building inspection department won’t let them do it wrong.

Find an excavating subcontractor that can write out specs. Most of the better excavators do work for the cities, counties, and states and know how.

Note: Underground electrical subcontractors can include the electrician you will be getting bids from for the house wiring, or an Utility Contractor that specializes in such work (more $$$).

Here is a source for Utility Contractors:
Find Local and National Utility Contractors in these Major Cities

"Tips on Hiring Utility Contractors:
Utility companies and government agencies often hire utility contractors to lay utility lines for them and to do large repair jobs for them. Different utility contractors specialize in laying and in repairing different kinds of utility lines.

When a telephone company needs fiber optic line laid, they call utility contractors that specialize in laying fiber optic lines.

When a cable or broadband company needs cable lines laid, they call contractors that specialize in laying cable lines.

When a natural gas utility needs gas lines laid or major repairs done on gas lines, they call a contractor that specializes in working on gas lines.

When a power company needs someone to lay some power lines or to make large repair jobs to power lines, they call a contractor that specializes in laying and fixing power lines.

When a city, town or water and sewer district needs to have some water lines laid or some sewer lines laid, they call contractors who specialize in laying sewer and water lines.

How to Choose Utility Contractors:
If you plan on having some underground work done on your property, then you should consider using utility contractors that know about sewage, water, electric, gas, and telephony communication systems.

You can find many utility contractors online and in your directory. The utility organizations do not have a monopoly on repair services, even though they often have the most publicity.

With so many options to choose from, it can help to know what questions to ask so that you can determine which contractors are right for you.

When you first contact the company, ask them how long they have been in business. Those with several years of experience should have a repairman and electrician that knows how to work with underground utility systems.

Organizations that have years of experience should also have connections with suppliers and utility providers so that they know the government policies for your area. The company’s electrician, for instance, might need to use the postal service to get permission to dig in certain parts of your yard so that it does not interfere with the utility provider’s service to other people in the area.

Ask the contractors if they have suppliers that can give them all of the instruments, tools, and materials that they need to work on your utilities. While you should try to find a company that can give you the best services, you should also think about price.

Ask the electrician contractors for written price quotes for the services that you need.
Then you can compare them to choose the one that’s best for you. "

So Rick, relax and let true professional subcontractors help make your job as the General Contractor easier.

If you need more info or have any questions, let me know.
Good Luck,
Carl Heldmann,